April 18, 2009
With the goal of helping people see the bigger picture of their neighborhood, all Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract posts will continue on the Corralitas Red Car Property Blog.
There is so much development activity on either end of the Red Car Property, it's easier to keep track of it on one blog. See the Links below to follow along with:
16-lot Subdivision in Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract
120-unit condo proposal for The Menlo Property
The Legacy of Failed Development
October 16, 2008
Link: Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract Cut in 1905
November 26, 2007
Photo: Futterer, Holyland Exhibit, 1960. Click photos to enlarge.
Photo: Futterer, Holyland Exhibit, 1923.
The neighborhood grew up around the Pacific Electric Red Car Stop at Whitmore and Allesandro. Small scale single family homes built on narrow streets (Whitmore St. was described as an "alley" on the 1912 Baist's Atlas) and public staircases allowed for suburban living minutes from Downtown Los Angeles.
In 1955 the Glendale and Edendale Red Car lines were decommissioned. In 1960 homes were demolished or moved for the construction of the 2 Freeway. Large vacant lots in the area like the Semi-Tropic Spiritualists' Tract and the Red Car Property were used for sources of fill dirt to build the area freeways. Later, the same lots were used as dumping grounds for the leftover dirt. The 2 Freeway opened in 1962. For more on our neighborhood history:
November 7, 2007
Photo: Andrew Sears
In 2005 the City declared Paul Landacre's Cabin and grounds at 2006 El Moran a Cultural Historic Landmark. Landacre's work was influenced by and often depicted the neighborhood in his work.
Paul Landacre wrote about his life in the Echo Park hills in 1958, not so different from those who live in the Semi-Tropic Spiritualists' Tract today;
"You see, art is practiced here along with various other concerns -
pruning trees, repairing the roof, watching and feeding wildlife and so
on. Of course, other artists live on wooded hillsides, too, and so do
other people, and it must be conceded that to some of us this kind of
environment is not only valuable, but absolutely necessary - a degree of
seclusion, the life of growing things, awareness that we are a part of
Landacre carved a petrel, his signature bird into the roof vents on each side of his house. He used the petrel as his trademark on his work, often in place of his signature.
Landacre struggled with physical disabilities most of his life. He identified with the petrel since they learn to fly by jumping off a cliff; falling into the raging sea; hurling themselves off the peaks of waves until they learn to fly. They crash into the rocks and waves, beat up, but they learn to fly.
Landacre worked out of his home on El Moran Ave. in the Semi-Tropic Spiritualists' Tract for more than 30 years, until his death in 1963. Landacre's cabin, the grounds around his cabin and the hillside of the tract retain the same rural character that existed when Landacre created his unique works of art. It's a place where the natural beauty and quality of light still inspire artists today.